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Re: [mythsoc] Galadriel throws down the walls of Dol Guldur

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  • Doug Kane
    John, I m gald you responded to this, because I had meant to add my two sense and I was going to make the same comparison that you did to Luthien undoing the
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 17 8:35 PM
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      John, I'm gald you responded to this, because I had meant to add my two sense and I was going to make the same comparison that you did to Luthien undoing the spells that bound the stones together of Sauron's tower on the former Tol Sirion. However, there is significant editorial change that was made to this passage. As written by Tolkien, in addition to demanding the Sauron yield the mastery of the tower to her as the price for letting him go, Luthien also demanded that he reveal to her "the spell that bindeth stone to stone." Christopher Tolkien eliminated this statement and instead added two paragraphs later the statement "and the spell was loosed that bound stone to stone." Christopher concedes that "this rearrangement was mistaken." (See The Lost Road, 300.)

      The other comment that I wanted to make is that I doubt that Nenya would have been much use to Galadriel in this task. Elrond tells us that the Three Rings "were not made as weapons of war or conquest: that is not their power. Those who made them did not desire strength or domination or hoarded wealth, but understanding, making, and healing, to preserve all things unstained." I don't think that Galadriel would have used Nenya to throw down the walls of Dol Guldur, even if the Three Rings' power had not yet full dissipated. Rather, I think that she used her inate "magical" powers. Tolkien makes some very interesting comments about the use of magic in Letter 155, a draft of a letter to Naomi Mitchison that was not included in the version sent to her (the sent version is letter 154, which itself has some very interesting ideas).

      "I suppose that, for the purposes of the tale, some would say that there is a latent distinction such as once was called the distinction between magia and goeteia [this is defined in the O.E.D. as 'witchcraft or magic performed by the invocation and employment of evil spirits; necromancy'] Galadriel speaks of the 'deceits of the Enemy'. Well enough but magia could be, was, held good (per se), and goetia bad. Neither is, in this tale, good or bad (per se), but only by motive or purpose or use. Both sides use both, but with different motives. The supremely bad motive is (for this tale, since it specifically about it) domination of other 'free' wills. The Enemy's operation are by no means all goetic deceits, but 'magic' that produces real effects in the physical world. But his magia he uses to bulldoze both people and things, and his goeteia to terrify and subjugate. Their magia the Elves and Gandalf use (sparingly): a magia, producing real results (like fire in a wet faggot) for specific beneficent purposes. Their goetic effects are entirely artistic and not intended to deceive: they never deceive Elves (but may deceive or bewilder unaware Men) since the difference is to them as clear as the difference to us between fiction, painting, and sculpture, and 'life'."

      Tolkien adds later in the passage that the "magic" that is used in his Tale is not of the kind that can be developed through "lore" or spells, but rather is an "inherent power not possessed or attainable by Men as such." As one of the most powerful of all of the Elves, Galadriel would likely have this "inherent power" to a high degree. In my opinion, Galadriel throwing down the walls of Dol Guldur was simply an example of one of the primary Elves using magia for a practical purpose.

      The question that I have is: what is the "artistic" goetic effects of the Elves that Tolkien is referring to?

      ,----- Original Message -----
      From: John D Rateliff
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2008 6:55 PM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Galadriel throws down the walls of Dol Guldur


      Hi Steve
      Sorry for the delay in responding; I've been away and just got
      back. I think most of the other regular posters are at Mythcon this
      weekend.
      I interpret that passage to mean that after the Nazgul were
      destroyed, Celeborn's forces destroyed the remaining Mirkwood-host
      and that Galadriel herself then left Lorien to visit the spot. I
      don't think she rolled up her sleeves and let loose against the walls
      with a big hammer; rather, I parallel this passage with Luthien's
      casting down the Necromancer's Tower (the former Tol Sirion) in THE
      SILMARILLION. That is, I think she undid the spell that bound the
      place together, and that it crumbled and collapsed on the spot.
      It's not said that the Three Rings immediately wink out, but
      implied that they fade quickly. Destroying Dol Guldur would have been
      a good use of most of what remained of Nenya's power, leaving the
      world behind with a cleaner slate to start the new age ("Greenwood
      the Great").
      I hope this helps.
      --JDR

      On Aug 11, 2008, at 7:59 PM, al_fariis wrote:
      > There is a passage in Appendix B, Return of the King, in the paragraph
      > right after the March 3019 chronology that has me puzzled:
      >
      > "They (the Elves of Lorien) took Dol Guldur, and Galadriel threw
      > down its walls and laid bare its pits, and the forest was cleansed."
      >
      > What does this mean? Was Tolkien saying that Galadriel herself
      > threw down the walls of Dol Guldur, or did she supervise the work? The
      > three rings lost their power after the One Ring was destroyed, so
      > Nenya could not have been used.
      >
      > We'd love to be at MythCon this weekend, but barring a sudden change
      > in fortune, we'll have to miss this year.
      >
      > Steve Gaddis




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • al_fariis
      ... two sense and I was going to make the same comparison that you did to Luthien undoing the spells that bound the stones together of Sauron s tower on the
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 18 12:15 AM
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        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Doug Kane" <dougkane@...> wrote:
        >
        > John, I'm gald you responded to this, because I had meant to add my
        two sense and I was going to make the same comparison that you did to
        Luthien undoing the spells that bound the stones together of Sauron's
        tower on the former Tol Sirion. However, there is significant
        editorial change that was made to this passage. As written by
        Tolkien, in addition to demanding the Sauron yield the mastery of the
        tower to her as the price for letting him go, Luthien also demanded
        that he reveal to her "the spell that bindeth stone to stone."
        Christopher Tolkien eliminated this statement and instead added two
        paragraphs later the statement "and the spell was loosed that bound
        stone to stone." Christopher concedes that "this rearrangement was
        mistaken." (See The Lost Road, 300.)
        >
        > The other comment that I wanted to make is that I doubt that Nenya
        would have been much use to Galadriel in this task. Elrond tells us
        that the Three Rings "were not made as weapons of war or conquest:
        that is not their power. Those who made them did not desire strength
        or domination or hoarded wealth, but understanding, making, and
        healing, to preserve all things unstained." I don't think that
        Galadriel would have used Nenya to throw down the walls of Dol Guldur,
        even if the Three Rings' power had not yet full dissipated. Rather, I
        think that she used her inate "magical" powers. Tolkien makes some
        very interesting comments about the use of magic in Letter 155, a
        draft of a letter to Naomi Mitchison that was not included in the
        version sent to her (the sent version is letter 154, which itself has
        some very interesting ideas).
        >
        > "I suppose that, for the purposes of the tale, some would say that
        there is a latent distinction such as once was called the distinction
        between magia and goeteia [this is defined in the O.E.D. as
        'witchcraft or magic performed by the invocation and employment of
        evil spirits; necromancy'] Galadriel speaks of the 'deceits of the
        Enemy'. Well enough but magia could be, was, held good (per se), and
        goetia bad. Neither is, in this tale, good or bad (per se), but only
        by motive or purpose or use. Both sides use both, but with different
        motives. The supremely bad motive is (for this tale, since it
        specifically about it) domination of other 'free' wills. The Enemy's
        operation are by no means all goetic deceits, but 'magic' that
        produces real effects in the physical world. But his magia he uses to
        bulldoze both people and things, and his goeteia to terrify and
        subjugate. Their magia the Elves and Gandalf use (sparingly): a magia,
        producing real results (like fire in a wet faggot) for specific
        beneficent purposes. Their goetic effects are entirely artistic and
        not intended to deceive: they never deceive Elves (but may deceive or
        bewilder unaware Men) since the difference is to them as clear as the
        difference to us between fiction, painting, and sculpture, and 'life'."
        >
        > Tolkien adds later in the passage that the "magic" that is used in
        his Tale is not of the kind that can be developed through "lore" or
        spells, but rather is an "inherent power not possessed or attainable
        by Men as such." As one of the most powerful of all of the Elves,
        Galadriel would likely have this "inherent power" to a high degree.
        In my opinion, Galadriel throwing down the walls of Dol Guldur was
        simply an example of one of the primary Elves using magia for a
        practical purpose.
        >
        > The question that I have is: what is the "artistic" goetic effects
        of the Elves that Tolkien is referring to?
        >
        > ,----- Original Message -----
        > From: John D Rateliff
        > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2008 6:55 PM
        > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Galadriel throws down the walls of Dol Guldur
        >
        >
        > Hi Steve
        > Sorry for the delay in responding; I've been away and just got
        > back. I think most of the other regular posters are at Mythcon this
        > weekend.
        > I interpret that passage to mean that after the Nazgul were
        > destroyed, Celeborn's forces destroyed the remaining Mirkwood-host
        > and that Galadriel herself then left Lorien to visit the spot. I
        > don't think she rolled up her sleeves and let loose against the walls
        > with a big hammer; rather, I parallel this passage with Luthien's
        > casting down the Necromancer's Tower (the former Tol Sirion) in THE
        > SILMARILLION. That is, I think she undid the spell that bound the
        > place together, and that it crumbled and collapsed on the spot.
        > It's not said that the Three Rings immediately wink out, but
        > implied that they fade quickly. Destroying Dol Guldur would have been
        > a good use of most of what remained of Nenya's power, leaving the
        > world behind with a cleaner slate to start the new age ("Greenwood
        > the Great").
        > I hope this helps.
        > --JDR
        >
        > On Aug 11, 2008, at 7:59 PM, al_fariis wrote:
        > > There is a passage in Appendix B, Return of the King, in the
        paragraph
        > > right after the March 3019 chronology that has me puzzled:
        > >
        > > "They (the Elves of Lorien) took Dol Guldur, and Galadriel threw
        > > down its walls and laid bare its pits, and the forest was cleansed."
        > >
        > > What does this mean? Was Tolkien saying that Galadriel herself
        > > threw down the walls of Dol Guldur, or did she supervise the
        work? The
        > > three rings lost their power after the One Ring was destroyed, so
        > > Nenya could not have been used.
        > >
        > > We'd love to be at MythCon this weekend, but barring a sudden change
        > > in fortune, we'll have to miss this year.
        > >
        > > Steve Gaddis
        >
        >
        > Thank you to John and Doug for the enlightening responses; perhaps
        others will weigh in on this. I've had an image in my head of
        Galadriel destroying the tower, as though it had been hit by an
        invisible wave of water, in keeping with Nenya being the Ring of
        Water. I've done some rough sketches of the idea, but didn't want to
        go much further without a clearer idea of just what Tolkien may have
        intended-more reading and research to do!

        Steve
        >
        >
        >
      • John Davis
        Is it possible that the throwing down of Dol Guldur might be seen as a healing of the land, a removal of the source that was poisoning Mirkwood, rather than an
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 18 1:27 AM
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          Is it possible that the throwing down of Dol Guldur might be seen as a
          healing of the land, a removal of the source that was poisoning Mirkwood,
          rather than an act of desctruction? If so, it would then be entirely in
          keeping with the use of the Three Rings to heal and preserve.

          John

          > The other comment that I wanted to make is that I doubt that Nenya would
          > have been much use to Galadriel in this >task. Elrond tells us that the
          > Three Rings "were not made as weapons of war or conquest: that is not
          > their power. Those >who made them did not desire strength or domination or
          > hoarded wealth, but understanding, making, and healing, to >preserve all
          > things unstained." I don't think that Galadriel would have used Nenya to
          > throw down the walls of Dol >Guldur, even if the Three Rings' power had
          > not yet full dissipated.


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Doug Kane" <dougkane@...>
          To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, August 18, 2008 4:35 AM
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Galadriel throws down the walls of Dol Guldur


          > John, I'm gald you responded to this, because I had meant to add my two
          > sense and I was going to make the same comparison that you did to Luthien
          > undoing the spells that bound the stones together of Sauron's tower on the
          > former Tol Sirion. However, there is significant editorial change that
          > was made to this passage. As written by Tolkien, in addition to demanding
          > the Sauron yield the mastery of the tower to her as the price for letting
          > him go, Luthien also demanded that he reveal to her "the spell that
          > bindeth stone to stone." Christopher Tolkien eliminated this statement
          > and instead added two paragraphs later the statement "and the spell was
          > loosed that bound stone to stone." Christopher concedes that "this
          > rearrangement was mistaken." (See The Lost Road, 300.)
          >
          > The other comment that I wanted to make is that I doubt that Nenya would
          > have been much use to Galadriel in this task. Elrond tells us that the
          > Three Rings "were not made as weapons of war or conquest: that is not
          > their power. Those who made them did not desire strength or domination or
          > hoarded wealth, but understanding, making, and healing, to preserve all
          > things unstained." I don't think that Galadriel would have used Nenya to
          > throw down the walls of Dol Guldur, even if the Three Rings' power had not
          > yet full dissipated. Rather, I think that she used her inate "magical"
          > powers. Tolkien makes some very interesting comments about the use of
          > magic in Letter 155, a draft of a letter to Naomi Mitchison that was not
          > included in the version sent to her (the sent version is letter 154, which
          > itself has some very interesting ideas).
          >
          > "I suppose that, for the purposes of the tale, some would say that there
          > is a latent distinction such as once was called the distinction between
          > magia and goeteia [this is defined in the O.E.D. as 'witchcraft or magic
          > performed by the invocation and employment of evil spirits; necromancy']
          > Galadriel speaks of the 'deceits of the Enemy'. Well enough but magia
          > could be, was, held good (per se), and goetia bad. Neither is, in this
          > tale, good or bad (per se), but only by motive or purpose or use. Both
          > sides use both, but with different motives. The supremely bad motive is
          > (for this tale, since it specifically about it) domination of other 'free'
          > wills. The Enemy's operation are by no means all goetic deceits, but
          > 'magic' that produces real effects in the physical world. But his magia he
          > uses to bulldoze both people and things, and his goeteia to terrify and
          > subjugate. Their magia the Elves and Gandalf use (sparingly): a magia,
          > producing real results (like fire in a wet faggot) for specific beneficent
          > purposes. Their goetic effects are entirely artistic and not intended to
          > deceive: they never deceive Elves (but may deceive or bewilder unaware
          > Men) since the difference is to them as clear as the difference to us
          > between fiction, painting, and sculpture, and 'life'."
          >
          > Tolkien adds later in the passage that the "magic" that is used in his
          > Tale is not of the kind that can be developed through "lore" or spells,
          > but rather is an "inherent power not possessed or attainable by Men as
          > such." As one of the most powerful of all of the Elves, Galadriel would
          > likely have this "inherent power" to a high degree. In my opinion,
          > Galadriel throwing down the walls of Dol Guldur was simply an example of
          > one of the primary Elves using magia for a practical purpose.
          >
          > The question that I have is: what is the "artistic" goetic effects of the
          > Elves that Tolkien is referring to?
        • Merlin DeTardo
          ...
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 18 8:52 PM
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            --- "Doug Kane" <dougkane@...> wrote:
            << John, I'm glad you responded to this, because I had meant to add
            my two sense and I was going to make the same comparison that you did
            to Luthien undoing the spells that bound the stones together of
            Sauron's tower on the former Tol Sirion. >>

            Sight and sound? Smell and touch?


            << [Quoting Tolkien] Gandalf's and the Elves' "goetic effects are
            entirely artistic and not intended to deceive: they never deceive
            Elves (but may deceive or bewilder unaware Men) since the difference
            is to them as clear as the difference to us between fiction,
            painting, and sculpture, and 'life'."...
            The question that I have is: what is the "artistic" goetic effect of
            the Elves that Tolkien is referring to? >>

            My guess is something like what Tolkien decribes in App. A.I.v, which
            says that Aragorn, seeing Arwen for the first time:

            "halted amazed, thinking that he had strayed into a dream, or else
            that he had received the gift of the Elf-minstrels, who can make the
            things of which they sing appear before the eyes of those that
            listen. For Aragorn had been singing a part of the Lay of Luthien
            which tells of the meeting of Luthien and Beren in the forest of
            Neldoreth."

            -Merlin DeTardo
          • Doug Kane
            Merlin DeTardo wrote:
            Message 5 of 7 , Aug 19 8:58 AM
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              Merlin DeTardo wrote:

              << << [Quoting Tolkien] Gandalf's and the Elves' "goetic effects are
              entirely artistic and not intended to deceive: they never deceive
              Elves (but may deceive or bewilder unaware Men) since the difference
              is to them as clear as the difference to us between fiction,
              painting, and sculpture, and 'life'."...
              The question that I have is: what is the "artistic" goetic effect of
              the Elves that Tolkien is referring to? >>

              My guess is something like what Tolkien decribes in App. A.I.v, which
              says that Aragorn, seeing Arwen for the first time:

              "halted amazed, thinking that he had strayed into a dream, or else
              that he had received the gift of the Elf-minstrels, who can make the
              things of which they sing appear before the eyes of those that
              listen. For Aragorn had been singing a part of the Lay of Luthien
              which tells of the meeting of Luthien and Beren in the forest of
              Neldoreth." >>

              Ah, good suggestion, Merlin!

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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